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The following group of nine lots form a distilled cross-section of Brazilian Design from the mid-century to the present day, covering the critical period in the country’s journey of expression through design. Part of the private collection of Vanishing Points Gallery, who are shortly to be opening a gallery space in London, these works have been shown to huge acclaim as part of a travelling exhibition ‘Brazilian Design: Modern & Contemporary Furniture’, held in association with local and international cultural bodies, travelling to Berlin, Lisbon and London over the last three years. Brazilian design reached new heights in the 1940s and 1950s as a new modern language of concrete and glass took flight, resulting in architectural forms, interplaying the use of light, shape and space, as is shown in the work of Oscar Niemeyer and Joaquim Tenreiro in this section (lots 227 and 233). After this hugely creative period the country fell into the creative vacuum of military dictatorship for over 20 years, where freedom of expression was strictly restricted and controlled, only to be followed by the explosion of creativity which continues to this day. In many of the works shown here the respect for the material (be it natural, industrial or recyclable) is central, together with the inventive manner of their application. The lack of a clearly defined design tradition or historical background now fosters in designers the creation of a new language, defined only by freedom and spontaneity, characterized by adaptability to new solutions, materials and concepts. The following nine works were exhibited: Galerie Zeitlos, Berlin, 23 March - 5 May 2012; MUDE – Design and Fashion Museum, Lisbon, 23 September - 4 November 2012; Embassy of Brazil, London, 27 March - 9 May 2014.


polished cross-section of solid vinhatico, on squat cylindrical supports
10 in. (25 cm.) high; 50 ½ in. (128.5 cm.) wide; 31 in. (79 cm.) deep
partial designer's paper label to underside Tenreiro Móvies e Decorações, Avenia Guglielm Maxwell 346/359
Similar example illustrated:
M. C. Loschiavo dos Santos, Tenreiro, Rio de Janeiro, 1998, pp. 109-111.

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Simon Andrews

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Lot Essay

'I have always been restless. What I did was reformulate the dimensions of Brazilian furniture, because it was really uncomfortable. I have defended craftsmanship with all my heart, against the kind of industrialization that debased furniture'

Joaquim Tenreiro

A pioneer of modernist Brazilian furniture making, Joaquim Tenreiro created exquisitely crafted pieces which combined traditional values with modern aesthetic. Tenreiro founded his own studio in the early 1940s, quickly gaining recognition for his new formal language. Key elements of his style are the rediscovery of raw materials and the use of several Brazilian hardwoods that would adapt to the country’s heat. The present lot is an exceptional example of his distinctive vision and his ability to design timeless pieces.

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